For release: July 24, 1996
Ann C. Gaudreaux
Henry Colonna, Resident Initiatives Specialist
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Virginia State
RELEASE NO. 96-120
"Neighborhood Networks" Links Virginia Beach Housing Units
with Affordable Technology
Network Will Promote Job Training and Educational
Thanks to a government/industry partnership, residents of a
Virginia housing project will receive free job and computer skills
training and education.
The Virginia State Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office,
WHRO, Old Dominion University and NASA Langley Research Center are
jointly supporting the application of the Affordable Technology to
Link America's Schools (ATLAS) as part of the "Neighborhood
Networks" project within the state.
A Neighborhood Networks Internet classroom will be opened with a
press conference at Friendship Village in Virginia Beach on Friday,
July 26 at 10 a.m.
A two bedroom apartment has been donated by owners VMH Inc. to
serve as the Friendship Village Internet and classroom site. It
will be used by residents of the neighborhood housing project to
support job and computer skills training and education for adults
The Internet site will also be tied via electronic network to
Birdneck Elementary School which serves Friendship Village. It will
be one of several such sites that HUD has helped open throughout
the country by obtaining the cooperation of landlords, housing
associations, local businesses and government agencies.
This is the first active Neighborhood Network site in Virginia
and several are planned for the near future.
The Neighborhood Network program is setting up the Virginia
Beach site as a model for others in Virginia.
"The program hopes to create a desire for low- to
moderate-income families to move to housing areas where an Internet
connection is available for job and educational training," said
Charles Famuliner, director, Multifamily Housing for HUD in
"The computer training will act as a springboard to help get
people off welfare by preparing them for the job market where
computers are increasingly playing a major role. It will give
children an opportunity to follow up classroom computer activities
after they return home."
ATLAS is a technology commercialization initiative that grew out
of NASA Langley's High Performance Computing and
Communications/Information Infrastructure Technology and
Applications program. Through ATLAS, NASA has made a commitment to
enhance math and science education programs for grades kindergarten
through 12 through the integration of computational science and
wide-area communications such as the Internet.
NASA and ATLAS share a joint goal: To connect more than 70,000
K-12 school sites nationally by the year 2000 in support of the
President's goal to connect all of America's schools.
NASA Langley will provide ATLAS orientation sessions to explain
the technology design and applications. WHRO will serve as the
Internet Central Site, and provide the telecommunications link for
Friendship Village. WHRO, the public broadcasting station for
eastern Virginia, was recognized as a national telecommunications
facility because of its leadership in the use and application of
technology for education.
"A local firm, Unified Research Laboratories, Inc. (URLabs), was
formed based on the computer network technology begun at NASA
Langley, and out of which the ATLAS project was born," said Dr. Joe
Heyman, director of NASA Langley's Technology Applications Group.
"URLabs will offer more advanced computer solutions for Friendship
In addition to Internet access, the Virginia Employment
Commission and Virginia Beach Library are just two sources of the
training and educational software that will be available for
residents of Friendship Village.
Another federal agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) Norfolk Office, through its community outreach program, will
add its expertise to the educational Neighborhood Networks project.
A FBI special agent and a FBI computer specialist will be on hand
to provide support for the initial computer training sessions.
Follow-up training for Friendship Village residents will be made
available by teacher interns from Old Dominion University's School
Representatives from NASA Langley's Technology Applications
Group and Research and Technology Group, the FBI, WHRO and URLabs,
and officials from Virginia Beach, HUD and Birdneck Elementary
School will be on hand to answer questions about the Friendship
B-roll and interviews are available. For more information,
contact Ann Gaudreaux, (757) 864-8150.
text-only version of this release